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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Good Intentions Ending in Frustration

I was determined today to enjoy the sunny Sunday afternoon by working in the gazebo. I carried my block of the month Christmas project, patterns, baggies with the wool, iron, little cutting mat, rulers, etc. etc. outside. It required several trips. I was so excited to finally get started. BUT, like always, when it comes down to fusing the damn stuff on the wool, I hit a speed bump. Reverse, or not reverse, what side to draw on the pattern, cut it on the line, don't cut it on the line. ARGGH! Then the wind blew stuff on the ground. I became so frustrated that I threw it all back in the bin and carried it back inside!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Proud Hawkeye Mom

I love working on T-shirt quilts especially if I can relate to them. My friend Karen is from Iowa and made a University of Iowa T-shirt quilt to be raffled off. My daughter Franziska and her husband Luke graduated from U of I. They usually go back to Iowa City in Fall for Homecoming. Go Hawkeyes!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Blog of the Week Winner

I was excited (extremely) to find out that I was selected 'Blog of the Week Winner' by AQS, American Quilters Society. I know, I know, I had to enter my blog name myself, and there might not have been that many entries, but, nevertheless, I won. I'm proud, I haven't been blogging that long, and writing (in English) doesn't come that easy to me! Thanks so much AQS!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sweet and Sour

I had so much fun quilting this colorful quilt today aptly named 'Sweet and Sour'! The colors are bright and happy. My customer Lydia started out with a kit from a quilt shop and then added more pinks and greens  to the mix. The backing is a Kaffe fabric and is perfect for this quilt.

The pattern is from the book StrataVarious by Barbara Persing and Mary Hoover:

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hot August Night

We're still enjoying this wonderful August weather. The grass is still green which is very unusual for August in the Chicago area. The mosquitoes are a pain, but enjoying the backyard is part of summer, unless  your people are still eating dinner (dining room) and you want to have your cigar and beer outside. So why not park your adirondack chair right outside the dining room window!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

In and Out, continued

I was working hard today to finish the Blue Underground 'In and Out' silk quilt. I pieced the "Out" blocks, loaded the quilt on the Millenium, and, only the binding has to be applied. I have several strips of Dupioni silk left over which I could use as binding. I have never done a silk binding before. I wonder if it is at all possible to do this without it raveling too much.

Piecing the 'Out' blocks:

The top is done:

Quilting it with the Vertigo pantograph:

Waiting for the binding:

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Blue Underground - In and Out

I'm under pressure to finish a quilt for the AID (Association for Individual Development) auction. I started piecing the top. The pattern is from Blue Underground, In and Out with the Dupioni Silk kit from Brewer. The silk is gorgeous, but ravels something fierce. I used interfacing, Bi-Stretch Lite (thanks Mark Lipinski for the suggestion), but it still ravels. Here is what I could finish so far, they are the "IN" blocks:

Isn't the silk 'lucious'? And, I'm sure, my retreat girls appreciate the fact that I'm doing this at home, and they don't have all the silk threads on their fabrics. Hopefully I can post a picture of the finished top tomorrow.

On another note, John is trying to clean out his room. He took 'stuff' over to Casey's house to sell it at her garage sale. I think he sold the mannequins. If anybody is interested in a music organ, you can get it for free!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Milwaukee Teacher and Class Line Up

I'm back home from Milwaukee. It was exciting,  exhaustingly wonderful (if that makes sense)! I hope I can remember anything! I will keep the class hand-outs next to my machine. The teachers were so knowledgable, inspirational and full of energy, even in the late afternoon classes. Absolutely no complaints in that respect!

I hope the show organizers will send out surveys on how to make it an even better event. Two things I complained about during all three days: no coffee and food available between 1 and 5 pm!

Here's my teacher line-up:

Dawn Cavanaugh:
Feathers as Fillers
Dusty Farrel:
Radical Rulers

Pam Clark:
Background Fillers

Mindy Wylie:
1) Swags Galore
2) Bodacious Borders

Myrna Ficken:
Creating Spaces

Claudia Pfeil:
Gambling with Echos

Sue Patten:
Free Motion Edge to Edge

I forgot to ask Sue how many pairs of cowboy boots she packed in her suitcase! Wild and gorgeous!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Milwaukee Machine Quilting Show

Today was my first day of classes at the Milwaukee Machine Quilting Show. This is only the second year that this Show is taking place. I signed up for 8 (EIGHT) classes! I drove into Milwaukee this morning, and I had my first class with Dawn Cavanaugh. Dawn is an award winning teacher, and, as a bonus, she calls me to help me fix my machine when it is down. She is the Education Direction of APQS. The class was so involved that I forgot to take a picture of her. Hopefully I'll run into her again in the next two days.

My second class was with Dusty Farrell! It was all about his 'radical' rulers! Very cool. I had bought the rulers sometime ago, and I thought that I might as well learn how to use them. His new book is making it's debut tomorrow!n Here are some samples of Dusty's work:

It's pretty cool!  

And, guess what, the first person I saw this morning was my German girl Claudia Pfeil! I hope she wins a ton of ribbons with her Mermaid quilt! Tomorrow night is Preview Night. I'm hoping to post lots of pictures of very cool quilts!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday Lunch in the City

We love to take the train to the City, then hop on the water taxi, walk a short distance to Ditka's on Chestnut, and have a leisurely lunch. Of course, the train was packed, we didn't remember that Lollapaloosa was in full swing and the Cubs had a home game. Nevertheless, the first person I see when we got off the train was Linda Alletag, a customer of mine, who went to see her son's band playing at Navy Pier. How exciting!

We enjoyed a great lunch. The weather was wonderful, and Fran joined us for a glass of wine. We dodged the rain when we got off the train in Geneva!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

To Bee or Not to Bee

This should not even be a question! It's fun to be a member of a bee. I belong to three: the Lambee (Long Arm Machine Bee), the Ewebee (Wool Bee) and the Quilting Bitches! We exchange ideas, tips and tricks about longarming in the Lambee, we work on wool projects (including knitting) in the Ewebee, and we eat, have some wine, share stories, work on projects with the Quilting Bitches. And we always have Show and Tell. Our guild has a Bee Keeper, she matches people up with existing bees or organizes new ones. We have several wool, art, applique, and just plain 'friendship' bees.
Getting ready for the Quilting Bitches!

The Ewebees hard at work:

 Christy is teaching her Sock Knitting Class: